Blanca a tropical storm as it nears Mexico’s Baja California

Blanca has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it nears the Baja California Peninsula, where residents have boarded up home and storefront windows in preparation for the heavy rains and high winds that are forecast to lash a wide area including the resorts of Los Cabos.
    
After building into a powerful Category 4 hurricane on Saturday, Blanca quickly lost strength today. It’s expected to pass to the west of the peninsula’s southern tip, moving near or along its southwestern coastline at night and on Monday.
    
But with memories still fresh from Hurricane Odile, which battered ramshackle homes, stores and luxury hotels when it made a direct hit on Los Cabos as a Category 3 storm in September, authorities put thousands of troops on alert and issued maritime warnings.
    
Locals have nailed down roofs and dragged food stands in from the beach in Cabo San Lucas.

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